The military’s Central Command (Centcom) was called on yesterday to protect Central Visayas from “spillovers” coming from Marawi City where government troops ended their offensive against the Maute terror group.
“Hindi natin masasabi na walang nakalusot (from Marawi City). May posibilidad yun. Nakita natin sa labanan sa Marawi, may elemento na pilit tumakas but na-intercept natin yung iba (We cannot say they have not slipped from Marawi City. There is that possibility. We saw during the war in Marawi that there were some elements who tried to escape but they were intercepted),” Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero told Centcom troops during yesterday’s visit.
Guerrero attended yesterday’s 16th founding anniversary of Centcom held at Camp Lapu-Lapu in Barangay Apas, Cebu City.
Guerrero later told reporters that he remains confident that Centcom can keep the region safe with the cooperation of local governments and their constituents.
He cited the military’s success in routing the Abu Sayyaf bandits who tried to sneak into Bohol province last April as evidence of strong coordination between the civilians and the government in thwarting terrorists.
Yesterday’s anniversary celebration also paid tribute to the soldiers for exceptional performance of duties and the soldiers who fell in battle.
Guerrero was joined by Centcom Commander Lt. Gen. Oscar Lactao during the presentation of the monument for the fallen soldiers.
In his speech, Lactao recounted the military’s losses in terms of the lives of soldiers and civilians during armed conflict and natural disasters as well as victories over rebels and terrorists including the Marawi City conflict.
“Centcom will continue with its vital role as protector of peace and prosperity,” Lactao said in his speech. /and Silliman University Intern Alven Marie A. Timtim